Flathead Lake Lake Getaways
Flathead Lake, located in northwest Montana, is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River. With a surface area of over 200 square miles, Flathead Lake provides visitors with more than enough room to have fun on the water.
The Flathead's spectacular, rugged terrain lies adjacent to Glacier National Park and west of the Continental Divide. Glaciated peaks and alpine lakes beckon summer users to hike, camp or fish. The Flathead has a vast area of over one million acres of designated wilderness in the Bob Marshall, Great Bear, and Mission Mountains Wildernesses. This wild country provides habitat for endangered gray wolves and threatened grizzly bears. The Flathead Wild and Scenic River, a favorite of white-water rafters, and the Swan River dissect the beauty of the Mission, Swan and Flathead Mountain Ranges.
The 15,000-acre Jewel Basin Hiking Area is managed for foot travel only; horse and motorized travel are not permitted. The North Fork, Middle Fork, and portions of the South Fork of the Flathead River are within the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and are used for floating excursions.
Big Mountain Ski Area is located just north of Whitefish and offers world class downhill skiing and snowboarding. Ample winter snow draws cross-country skiers and snowmobilers to the Forest's backcountry. Almost half of the Forest's public campgrounds and picnic areas are clustered around the scenic Hungry Horse Reservoir. The remainder are scattered throughout the Forest with most located on rivers or lakes. Additional developed facilities include boat ramps, swimming areas, and trailhead facilities. Numerous lakes can be reached by vehicle, horseback, or foot. Other recreation opportunities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are available throughout the Forest.